A bug centred around artifacts is causing havoc on MTG Arena right now, with many players reporting bizarre outcomes and unexpected, broken interactions. Some players are even crafting MTG decks to exploit the bug, creating impossible combos.
Sacrifice abilities on artifacts seem to be the root cause of the problem, and it seems the bug was first discovered on the card Citizen’s Crowbar. Essentially, when you sacrifice the crowbar to use its artifact or enchantment removal effect, MTG Arena instead makes you sacrifice all of your permanents, including every single one your lands. So… maybe don’t do that, at least until the issue is fixed.
Citizen’s Crowbar was previously working perfectly fine, so it seems likely that the launch of Shadows over Innistrad Remastered on March 21 has something to do with the bug. Unfortunately, while the card doesn’t see play in the best MTG Arena decks right now, it is found in one of the starter decks, so some new players have doubtless been confounded by the error.
It appears it’s not just the one card that’s borked, either, as over on Reddit, players are complaining about losing games to strange sacrifice interactions. Apparently, the card Ninja’s Kunai, which is supposed to deal 3 damage to a target when you sacrifice it, currently sacrifices everything and deals 3 damage for each permanent, ending games in a flash. Yes, it seems players are now deliberately building decks that exploit the bug.
On Twitter, streamer Stephen Croke jokingly suggested building an artifact sacrifice deck around Mayhem Devil to make the most of the effect. We’ve double checked, and can report that this combo with crowbar does indeed work. Honestly, in Explorer and Historic formats the power level is high enough that it doesn’t even feel too unfair, though we felt guilty enough about winning through a bug that we have only tested it out the one time. Be warned, deliberate bug exploitation is against MTG Arena’s code of conduct, so you should probably not brew around this bug if you don’t want to get reported.
We’ve reached out to Wizards of the Coast to ask what happened here, and if there’s any theory on what caused this rather game breaking bug. We’ll let you know if and when we hear back.
If you’re a new player on MTG Arena, firstly, don’t use the Selesnya starter deck right now! And secondly, check out our guide to MTG Arena codes to get a leg up when building your collection.